December 6: A Venezuelan Victory?

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Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

December 6, 1998 CE. Hugo Chávez is elected President of Venezuela. Born on 28 July 1954, in the eastern Venezuelan village of Sabaneta, the Chávez family was actively involved with the community. Hugo’s father, Hugo de los Reyes Chávez, was a member of the Venezuelan Social Christian Party, while his mother, Elena Frías de Chávez, was a schoolteacher. At age seventeen, the would be-president of Venezuela entered the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences, a move which would change his life. After departing from the academy as a top graduate, Hugo Chávez was stationed as a communications officer at a counterinsurgency unit in Barinas, Venezuela, where he first became exposed to Marxist literature. Critical of the cruelty and corruption rampant throughout Venezuela, Hugo became sympathetic of the socialist cause and eventually founded the Venezuelan People’s Liberation Army in 1977. After a failed coup attempt in 1992, Hugo gained much popularity among the poorer populations of Venezuela as, even though defeated, promised liberation from the corrupt Venezuelan government. Through harsh revolutionary rhetoric and the disastrous situation in Venezuela at the time, Hugo garnered the support of the country’s major socialist parties, eventually also gaining the support of the major democratic parties. Though Hugo promised the marginalized classes of Venezuela a bright future, Hugo Chávez proved just as corrupt and cruel as the previous establishment, ushering venezuela into a new Dark Age.