Whether liked or despised, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was a transformative figure. During his fourteen years in power he changed Venezuela from a poor country with democratic institutions, a rule of law and freedom of the press to an even poorer country with a quasi-dictatorship. Chavez was able to use his country’s vast oil wealth to spread his Bolivarian revolution–known as Chavismo–to other countries in Latin America by influencing their elections and building loyalty amongst segments of their populations. In the Center for Security Policy’s book, Chavismo without Chavez, Members of Congress, journalists and Latin America experts debate the former strongman’s legacy–as well as the implications for U.S. national security.
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