So what was it that the people like him so much that he was elected for a third term in office? For starters, he had his own ideology to govern the country, an ideology that many of the Latin American countries have now adopted. He cared for his people. He started making allies with other countries that the world had forgotten. He is a caring and a smart man.
He utilised what his country had to offer and traded it with other countries that were in need of it with some specialities that were needed for his country to prosper. He implemented Oil Diplomacy with a country that was and still is known for its doctors. Oil accounts for about 75% of exports. Venezuela provides about 26000 barrels per day of oil free to Cuba and heavily discounts another 64000 bpd. In return, Cuba sends doctors, sports coaches, teachers and art instructors. Patients are treated free of charge in Venezuela. Some are sent to Cuba for treatment for which transportation costs are paid by the government while Cuba is responsible for all other expenses.
Chávez inherited a state that was rife with corruption and crime. He aimed at reducing both. He has survived coup attempts and external pressures. He remains at odds with the American government but not the American people. He was a staunch critic of President Bush's policies and vice versa. This brought the two at odds with each other. The US is Venezuela’s largest oil customer. When in 2006, low income families of Philadelphia needed heating oil to survive the winter, Citgo, the Venezuelan government-owned company based in the US, was the only one who stepped forward to offer heating oil at 40% off for the poor families. No other petroleum company from the US stepped forward and it is to be noted that at the time Bush was at loggerheads with Chávez.
Chávez was also awarded the United Nations Jose Marti prize for promoting Latin American unity in 2005. Chávez has provided an effective counter to the US influence in Latin America. His theory of socialism in the 21st century has found many takers in the region. He opposes capitalism. He has been named in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people twice in 2005 and 2006.
Chávez will keep on enthralling the world with his charming yet effective ways. He is set on making Venezuela’s importance felt on world stage. He is a rescuer of the poor and he is the first of a new era of socialists who will change the world.
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