The Legacy of Hugo Chavez
by Emily Peach

1) Profile of your leader

Hugo Chavez was born on July 28, 1954 in Sabaneta, Venezuela.  He was one of five brothers.  During his early childhood, his mother abused him and his brother Adan and they were sent to live with their father's mother.  Hugo grew up loving the game of baseball and idolized the pitcher, Isaías "Látigo" Chávez, as well as various dictators throughout Latin America.  At seventeen, he enrolled in the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences and was accepted based off of his athletic prowess rather than his grades. Four years later, he graduated as a sub-lieutenant. Later in life, he was elected President of Venezuela and nationalized healthcare, education, food, and price controls.  Venezuela had the second highest poverty rate in Latin America until Chavez came along.  But with that came an increase in murders and corruption within the government and police forces.  In 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer in June.  March 5, 2013, he died in Caracas of this cancer.

2) Audio/Visual/Artistic Element

( The video above highlights Hugo Chavez and the one below shows some of the negative sides of his political term)

Hugo Chavez has proved himself to be a very controversial figure in History.  He created a cult of supporters to keep him in office for fourteen years.  They saw him as a great leader who believed in nationalizing the economy.  This is still true, he did do some tremendous things for Venezuela, but some red flags represented themselves during his presidency.  Their has been an increase in murders and corruption within the police and government since Chavez took his oath into office.  He took it upon himself to rid all traces of the U.S. having any oil reserves as to nationalize all Venezuelan oil fields.  Questions still remain about whether or not he really did have good intentions, or was is all just an act?

3) Creative Piece

To My Dearest 'Tribilin' (Disney character Goofy),                                              July 28, 2009

Feliz Cumpleaños!  You have come so far from where our family started. When you and your brother came to live with me, that was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I raised you two like you were my own.  You  have always been so sweet and respectful, just like your father.  I can't believe you started out in my little hut and have grown in such a tremendous way... just look at you now! Running Venezuela.  I always thought you could have made a career in baseball, but I wouldn't want anyone else to be the President of our beloved country.  I love you with my everything.  Continue to do tremendous things for the people on this country who look up to you.

Make me proud,

Abuela Rosa

4) Essential Question

How did Chavez's childhood idols influence the way he governed Venezuela?