Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Latin American Perspectives


Daniel Hellinger and Anthony Petros Spanakos discuss the legacy of Hugo ChaÁvez. In 1992, Lieutenant Colonel Hugo ChaÁvez vez failed to replace the beleaguered government of President Carlos AndreÁs PeÁrez but succeeded in capturing the hearts and imaginations of the population. Six years later, as a candidate for the presidency, ChaÁvez vez won his first of four presidential elections. Upon coming to power, he called for the drafting of a new constitution as part of a process of radical political, economic, and social change in Venezuela. Upon his death in March 2013, ChaÁvez left behind a significant but highly contested legacy. In his rise to power, ChaÁvez certainly appealed to antiparty sentiment. He articulated the widespread discontent of Venezuelans with the Punto Fijo system, a mostly two-party system in which political identity was party membership: when one's party held the presidency, one was pro-government, and when the other party was in power one became opposition. ChaÁvez was always critical of neoliberal economics and moved more radically over time toward greater state involvement, management, and ownership in the economy. Given that he was the most vocal critic of neoliberalism and the first and arguably most radical voice within the Pink Tide, Hugo ChaÁvez's ideas and policies offer fertile terrain for an investigation of the term 'post-neoliberal' relationship to oil companies. Hellinger's contribution demonstrates that ChaÁvez's policies did not reverse the return of foreign capital to the Venezuelan subsoil but it did change the terms of foreign investment, maximizing capture of rents. At the same time, it left foreign capital with at least an average rate of profit.



Published Citation

Hellinger, D., & Spanakos, A. P. (2017). The Legacy of Hugo Chávez. Latin American Perspectives, 44(1), 4-16.