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Hugo Chávez (1954-2013)

What does Chávez's death mean for Venezuela and Latin America?

By Daniel Cohen  

© Bernardo Londoy

Hugo Chávez died yesterday at the age of 58. William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, said he was “saddened to learn of [Chávez’s] death,” adding: “As president of Venezuela for 14 years he has left a lasting impression on the country and more widely.”

Chávez had dominated Venezuelan—and, at times, Latin American—politics since the late 1990s. Inspired by his hero, the nineteenth-century Venezuelan politician Simón Bolívar, Chávez’s “Bolivarian revolution” promised popular democracy and a more egalitarian society. Funded by Venezuela’s ample petro-dollars, his social programmes did…

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