Hugo Chávez

President of Venezuela, 1999–2002 and 2002–2013

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (IPA: ['uɰo rafa'el 'tʃaβes 'fɾias], 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the 47th President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. He was the leader of the "Bolivarian Revolution" and promoted his vision of democratic socialism,[1] Latin American integration, and anti-imperialism. Chávez was also an ardent critic of neoliberal globalization and U.S. foreign policy.[2]

Commander President

Hugo Chávez
Chávez in 2011
47th President of Venezuela
In office
14 April 2002 – 5 March 2013
Vice President
Preceded byDiosdado Cabello (Acting)
Succeeded byNicolás Maduro
In office
2 February 1999 – 11 April 2002
Vice President
Preceded byRafael Caldera
Succeeded byPedro Carmona (Acting)
1st President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
In office
24 March 2007 – 5 March 2013
Vice PresidentDiosdado Cabello
Preceded byParty Established
Succeeded byNicolás Maduro
Personal details
Born(1954-07-28)28 July 1954
Sabaneta, Republic of Venezuela
Died5 March 2013(2013-03-05) (aged 58)
Caracas, Venezuela
Resting placeCuartel de la Montaña, Caracas
Political partyPSUV (from 2007)
Other political
Children4, including María Gabriela
MotherElena Frías de Chávez
FatherHugo de los Reyes Chávez
Alma materMilitary Academy of Venezuela
Military service
Allegiance Venezuela
Branch/serviceVenezuelan Army
Years of service
  • 1971–1992
  • 1999–2013
RankLieutenant colonel
CommandsVenezuelan Army



Chávez was a career military officer. He founded the left-wing Fifth Republic Movement after a failed coup d'état against former President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chávez was elected to serve as president in 1998. This was mainly because he promised to help the poor majority of Venezuelan people. He was re-elected in 2000, and 2006.

He started a movement called Bolivarian Missions. Its goal is to fight disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty, and other social problems. Abroad, Chávez is known for supporting alternative models of economic development. He also spoke in favor of a collaboration of poor nations, especially those in Latin America. On 20 September 2006, Chávez made a speech to the UN General Assembly. Chávez said that U.S. President George W. Bush is "The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still today".[3]

Chávez's reforms have caused controversy, both inside Venezuela, and outside the country. Some people criticized the reforms, others supported them. Those people who support the reforms say that he has given more power to the poor, and that he has stimulated economic growth. Those who argue against the reforms say that he is an autocrat who has mismanaged the economy.[4]

Some governments, especially the government of the United States saw Chávez as a threat to global oil prices, as well as to regional stability.[5] Others sympathize with his ideology[6] or welcome his bilateral trade and reciprocal aid agreements.[7]



In 2005 and 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.[8][9] Chavez has received many prizes: He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Beijing, the university of Rio de Janeiro, the university of Santo Domingo, and Kyung Hee University in South Korea.



Chávez said he was a Roman Catholic.[10] Much like his predecessor Simon Bólivar, Chávez tolerated elements of belief systems,popular in Venezuela, such as the María Lionza cult and Sanería. These movements mix Roman Catholic belief with other elements, such as those of Voodoo and Shamanism. Chavez also put emphasis on the social ideas of the Catholic church, and remained in the background when it came to discussing controversial ideas. His ideas caused controversy with some clerics of the Catholic church, and some evangelical movements. While he was na pilgrimage, cardinal Rosalio Lara said that those that did not have the same ideas as the people in power were persecuted, and that Chavez' way of running the country was undemocratic.



He had an operation on his pelvis to remove his colorectal cancer.[11] In January 2013, his cancer worsened and was put on life support. Chávez put his daughter in charge whether he should live or die. He was treated for the disease in Cuba and in Venezuela. On 27 February 2013 rumors said that his daughter stopped the life support on 23 February. Later on 28 February the Vice President, Nicolás Maduro said that Chávez was fighting for his life. Chávez died of colorectal cancer on 5 March 2013.

On 5 March 2013 Vice President Maduro announced on state television that Chávez died in Caracas, Venezuela at 16:25 VET (2055 UTC), at the age of 58.[12][13] The cause of his death was a heart attack caused by colorectal cancer and respiratory failure.[12] He battled cancer since June 2011.[12][13] He is survived by his three daughters and one son. Leaders from the world shared reactions about Chávez's death.


  1. O'Shaughnessy, Hugh (May 22, 2006). "Venezuela's President Chavez wins hearts and minds in London". The Observer available at Taipei Times. Retrieved December 28, 2006.
  2. Ellner, Steve. "The 'Radical' Thesis on Globalisation and the Case of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez" Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 29, No. 6, Globalization and Globalism in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Nov. 2002), pp. 88-93. Stable URL.
  3. Hugo Chavez fun facts at
  4. BBC News. Chávez allies rally their support(August 24, 2003). Accessed December 4, 2006
  5. "Sign of hope in US-Venezuela ties". BBC News. December 15, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  6. "Ofensiva diplomática de Correa". Al Día. December 28, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2006.(in Spanish)
  7. "Chávez resumes cooperation agenda in South America". El Universal. December 8, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  8. Padgett, Tim (April 10, 2005). "Hugo Chavez: The Radical with Deep Pockets". Time. Archived from the original on January 11, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
  9. Padgett, Tim (May 8, 2006). "Hugo Chavez: Leading the Left-Wing Charge". Archived from the original on April 5, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2006.
  10. Hugo Chavez seeks help
  11. Chavez announces new cancer operation
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dead after battle with cancer". Fox News by Associated Press. March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Iconic Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dies". BBC News. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013.

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