Hugo Chavez

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POLS 3322
Write an essay that answers the following question: Do you consider Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez (1998-2012), a democratic country?

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, had been reelected as the democratic leader; however, his behavior seems to be apart, and in some respects against the fundamental principles of democracy. Analyzing Hugo Chavez’s actions, and the changes made under his authority, it appears that the transformation of Venezuela less under democracy and resembling more as a dictatorship- an autocratic form of government in which a government is ruled by an individual. Hugo Chavez used his political agenda to oppose critical discussion, and to manipulate the Law. In 1998, Chavez formed the Fifth Republican Movement as his political party. He pledged to rid poverty by initiating the Bolivarian Revolution, so that he may create social justice. Winning the 1998 election, Chavez pursued to make changes to the Constitution in order to accommodate his Bolivarian Revolution. Claiming that his cause was rooted in saving the poor masses, Chavez opposed all negative views regarding his agenda. A law called the “Special Law Against Media Crimes” was passed in 2009, which allows prosecution of any media organization that it believes are disseminating information disagreeing with the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela- a law set forth by Chavez’s. Although Venezuela maintains democratic features, there are measures the authoritarian regime practices that significantly influence the public in favoring Hugo Chavez and containing or discriminating all opposition. Chavez has manipulated Venezuelan law, democratic institutions, and restricted Venezuelan freedoms, for the purpose of maintaining a political stronghold over the nation. Chavez made sure that the nomination process was aligned to his advantage by weakening the checks and balances, extending the presidential term, and eliminating the senate (101...