50 Facts About Hugo Chavez

1. In 2008 Hugo Chavez was awarded the Blue Planet Award by the Ethecon Foundation, one of the comparatively very few 'grass-root' foundations.

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2. On 8 December 2012, Hugo Chavez announced he would undergo a new operation after doctors in Cuba detected malignant cells; the operation took place on 11 December 2012.

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3. In November 2012, Hugo Chavez announced plans to travel to Cuba for more medical treatment for cancer.

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4. On 9 July 2012, Hugo Chavez declared himself fully recovered from cancer just three months before the 2012 Venezuelan presidential election, which he won, securing a fourth term as president.

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5. In June 2011, Hugo Chavez revealed in a televised address from Havana, Cuba, that he was recovering from an operation to remove an abscessed tumor with cancerous cells.

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6. Hugo Chavez would declare his belief in Darwin's theory of evolution, stating that "it is a lie that God created man from the ground.

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7. Hugo Chavez was, in general, a liberal Catholic, some of whose declarations were disturbing to the religious community of his country.

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8. Hugo Chavez intended at one time to become a priest.

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9. Hugo Chavez befriended pariah states such as Belarus and Iran.

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10. Hugo Chavez focused on a variety of multinational institutions to promote his vision of Latin American integration, including Petrocaribe, Petrosur, and TeleSUR.

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11. Hugo Chavez aligned himself with authoritarian nations and radical movements that were seen as being anti-Western, with relations with Cuba and Iran becoming a particular importance.

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12. In 2006 Hugo Chavez inaugurated a state-funded movie studio called Villa del Cine.

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13. In 2004, Hugo Chavez used the National Commission of Telecommunications and the Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media law to officially censor media organizations.

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14. Hugo Chavez used state-run bodies to silence the media and to disseminate Bolivarian propaganda.

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15. Hugo Chavez said Venezuela should boycott the OAS, which he felt is dominated by the United States; a spokesperson said, "We don't recognize the commission as an impartial institution".

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16. Hugo Chavez created a system in which the FARC would provide the Venezuelan government with drugs that would be transported in live cattle and the FARC would receive money and weaponry from the Venezuelan government.

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17. In 2010, Hugo Chavez supported the construction of 184 communes, housing thousands of families, with $23 million in government funding.

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18. Hugo Chavez made it his stated goal to lower inequality in the access to basic nutrition, and to achieve food sovereignty for Venezuela.

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19. Hugo Chavez gained a reputation as a price hawk in OPEC, pushing for stringent enforcement of production quotas and higher target oil prices.

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20. Early in his presidency, Hugo Chavez was advised and influenced by the Argentine Peronist Norberto Ceresole.

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21. Hugo Chavez was well acquainted with the various traditions of Latin American socialism, espoused by such figures as Colombian politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan and former Chilean president Salvador Allende.

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22. Hugo Chavez was much better than Romulo Betancourt, much better than all of those others.

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23. Hugo Chavez praised Perez Jimenez in order to vilify preceding democratic governments, stating that "General Perez Jimenez was the best president Venezuela had in a long time.

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24. In 2010, Hugo Chavez proclaimed support for the ideas of Marxist Leon Trotsky, saying "When I called him" Chavez explained, "he said to me: 'President I want to tell you something before someone else tells you.

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25. Hugo Chavez defined his political position as Bolivarianism, an ideology he developed from that of Simon Bolivar and others.

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26. Hugo Chavez has indicated that it is distinctly different from state socialism", as implemented by the governments of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

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27. On 7 October 2012, Hugo Chavez won election as president for a fourth time, his third six-year term.

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28. On 15 December 2006, Hugo Chavez publicly announced that those leftist political parties who had continually supported him in the Patriotic Pole would unite into one single, much larger party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

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29. In May 2006, Hugo Chavez visited Europe in a private capacity, where he announced plans to supply cheap Venezuelan oil to poor working class communities in the continent.

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30. Hugo Chavez sought to make PDVSA his main source of funds for political projects and replaced oil experts with political allies in order to support him with this initiative.

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31. Hugo Chavez had removed many of the managers and executives of PdVSA and replaced them with political allies, stripping the state-owned company expertise.

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32. Hugo Chavez commented that "They are not to blame for the terrorism of Osama Bin Laden or anyone else", and called on the American government to end "the massacre of the innocents.

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33. Hugo Chavez initially believed that capitalism was still a valid economic model for Venezuela, but only Rhenish capitalism, not the US-supported neoliberalism of prior Venezuelan governments.

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34. Hugo Chavez reappointed Caldera's economy minister, Maritza Izaquirre, to her previous position and appointed businessman Roberto Mandini president of the state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.

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35. Hugo Chavez appointed conservative, centrist and centre-right figures to government positions as well.

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36. Hugo Chavez deviated from the usual words of the presidential oath when he took it, proclaiming: "I swear before God and my people that upon this moribund constitution I will drive forth the necessary democratic transformations so that the new republic will have a Magna Carta befitting these new times.

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37. Hugo Chavez went on a 100-day tour of the country, promoting his Bolivarian cause of social revolution.

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38. Hugo Chavez was arrested and imprisoned at the San Carlos military stockade, wracked with guilt and feeling responsible for the failure of the coup.

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39. Hugo Chavez delayed the MBR-200 coup, initially planned for December, until the early twilight hours of 4 February 1992.

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40. Hugo Chavez began preparing for a military coup d'etat known as Operation Zamora.

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41. Hugo Chavez was sent to take command of the remote barracks at Elorza in Apure State, where he organized social events for the community and contacted the local indigenous tribal peoples, the Cuiva and Yaruro.

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42. Hugo Chavez went on to read these books, which included titles by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong, but his favourite was a work entitled The Times of Ezequiel Zamora, written about the 19th-century federalist general whom Chavez had admired as a child.

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43. In 1975, Hugo Chavez graduated from the military academy as one of the top graduates of the year.

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44. Hugo Chavez became interested in the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara after reading his memoir The Diary of Che Guevara.

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45. Hugo Chavez wrote poetry, fiction, and drama, and painted, and he researched the life and political thought of 19th-century South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar.

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46. Hugo Chavez began to get involved in activities outside of the military school, playing baseball and softball with the Criollitos de Venezuela team, progressing with them to the Venezuelan National Baseball Championships.

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47. Hugo Chavez was born on 28 July 1954 in his paternal grandmother Rosa Inez Chavez's home, a modest three-room house located in the rural village Sabaneta, Barinas State.

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48. Hugo Chavez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of US-supported neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism.

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49. Hugo Chavez led the MBR-200 in an unsuccessful coup d'etat against the Democratic Action government of President Carlos Andres Perez in 1992, for which he was imprisoned.

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50. Hugo Chavez was leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which he led until 2012.

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