For all who watch the developments in Venezuela, Chavez was a powerful and energetic man, who loved his folk, and who had the power to change the balance in Venezuela for the benefit of the downtrodden. Chavez came to power in a time when, if we are fair enough, Latin America was in an unstable and bad situation. He brought a natural atmosphere of self-confidence to the region, that convergence is possible. Even if his services and achievements set aside, the very self-confidence to govern the countries without interference by the US is in itself a great gift.
It would not considered exaggeration to say that no president as Chavez spoke to his people and listened to their speech. Chavez began in a time when no media accompanied him, and despite all misinformation about him, he did his historical mission. Today, Latin American countries take pride at bringing citizenship to downtrodden native people of Latin America. His critics around the world have called it a dictator, a patriarch, populist, and autocratic, while before him, West-affiliated parties ruled which were highly corrupt.
Chavez was elected as the youngest president of his country, canvassing 56 per cent of votes as a reformist candidate in December 6 1998, and took the position in February 2 1999. In 2002, the US launched a coup to oust him from the power, but Venezuelan people came to streets in a unique display of unity, and aborted the US plots, and freed Chavez from the coup agents.
He spent the oil income in social welfare programs such as state-sponsored food markets, public housing, and free health clinics for the public and free education. During his presidency, Venezuela’s oil income was unprecedentedly high, and the poverty was alleviated.
Now, his has left us, but the revolutionary spirit he promoted is a symbol of his, and hopefully, the path to independence and progress taken by Chavez is continued by support from Venezuelan people.
Ehsan Movahedifar is a journalist based in Tehran, Iran. He worked as a senior foreing affairs reporter of Iranian Mehr news outlet.