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Hugo Chavez leads Venezuela

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On the eve of attending his first Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela is introduced to Canadians.

Chavez was elected on a strong anti-imperialism platform directed at the United States, yet the Venezuelan economy relies on the investment of foreign companies. In this 2001 report from David Halton, we learn more about the "self-proclaimed revolutionary" of Venezuela.

• Hugo Chavez was born in 1954 in the city of Sabaneta, Barinas, in Venezuela. He entered the Venezuelan Academy of Military Science at the age of 17, graduating with a degree in military arts and science. He pursued graduate studies at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas.  He died on March 5, 2013.
  • During his university years, Chavez was influenced by the political ideas of Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin, but his real inspiration was the philosophical works of Simon Bolivar, the 19th century Venezuelan revolutionary.

• In 1983, Chavez formed the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200) with two fellow officers from the military. The original mandate of the group was academic, but it became a political movement when economic conditions changed in Venezuela. In 1992, Chavez led a coup attempt against the government of President Carlos Perez.

• After going on television to surrender to the government for his failed coup d'etat, Chavez's popularity with Venezuelans soared. He served time in prison for two years; he was pardoned by President Rafael Caldera and formed the Movimiento Quinta República (MVR). He ran for president in 1998 and won the election with 56 per cent of the popular vote.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: April 16, 2001
Guest(s): Jacques Levesque, Anibal Romero
Anchor: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: David Halton
Duration: 5:04

Last updated: March 7, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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