By the Embassy of Venezuela in Australia
February-March 2014 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialisr Renewal with permission -- Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez promoted a political doctrine of participatory democracy, socialism and Latin American and Caribbean cooperation. He was also a critic of neoliberalism, globalisation and United States foreign policy.
A career military officer, Chavez founded the left-wing Fifth Republic Movement after orchestrating a failed 1992 military rebellion against former President Carlos Andres Perez.
Chavez was elected president in 1998 with a campaign centred on promises of aiding Venezuela's poor majority, and was re-elected in 2000, 2006 and 2012.
Domestically, Chavez established nationwide Bolivarian Social Missions, whose goals are to combat disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty and other social ills.
Abroad, Chavez acted against the Washington Consensus by supporting alternative models of economic development and advocating cooperation among the world's poor nations, especially those in Latin America.
Chavez’s policies evoked controversy in Venezuela and abroad, receiving everything from vehement criticism to enthusiastic support.
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