Wed, 29 May 2013
On March 5 Hugo Chávez passed away after succumbing to a long battle with cancer, leaving behind a complex legacy, a political movement often referred to as 'Chavismo.' Many around the world mourned the loss of the leader, while others looked ahead to a new future for Venezuela. Indeed his rise to fame and eventual occupation of Venezuela's most powerful position was nothing short of legendary. Democratically elected by wide margins, Chávez was president for fourteen years. During this time he pulled thousands of citizens out of poverty with his '21st Century Socialism' mandate that provided, among other things, healthcare to the poor and massive gas subsidies. Throughout this time he also consolidated government authority under the presidency, jailed and excommunicated political opponents, and courted world leaders such as Ahmadinejad, Gadhafi and Castro. Even though the country sat atop vast oil wealth, Chávez presided over a crumbling infrastructure, a significant rise in crime rates and food shortages. His successor will have huge shoes to fill, and will face the challenging task of rebuilding the country. Rory Carroll, the former Latin America Bureau Chief for The Guardian, is well positioned to speak about the future of Venezuela after Chávez.
Speaker: Rory Carroll, US West Coast Bureau Chief, The Guardian
Moderator: Terry Vogt, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California