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Hugo Chávez

Venezuela's comeback kid has survived by brandishing a buffoonish popularism. But he is serious about his anti-Americanism

By Benjamin Backwell   76

On 12th April this year, the three-year rule of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez appeared to have come to an end. Rebel troops allied to civilian protestors demanded his resignation and took him to the remote island military base of La Orchila in the Caribbean. “It’s Over!” shouted the headline in the conservative El Universal newspaper. Most US commentators and the international financial and petroleum markets were equally relieved. “With yesterday’s resignation… Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator,” declared a New York Times editorial. The IMF issued a statement offering “assistance” to Venezuela, despite the fact that…

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