Hugo Chavez Sees Support Fade, Even in Venezuela Strongholds

By Llana, Sara Miller | The Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Hugo Chavez Sees Support Fade, Even in Venezuela Strongholds


Llana, Sara Miller, The Christian Science Monitor


Support for Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has fallen as problems have mounted for an economy battered by falling oil prices.

Getting to Jesus Cerezo's neighborhood in the hilltop barrio of El Valle, one of the poorest areas in Caracas, requires a four- wheel-drive vehicle capable of navigating the steep, narrow curves up the side of the hill, past piles of garbage and tire-eating potholes.

But home offers no sigh of relief for Mr. Cerezo, the owner of a small grocery store. He works behind a locked gate out of fear of robbery and general violence. And, he says, he knows who's to blame: Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.

"Despite all their promises, the government is not attacking the problems at their origin," he says.

Prior to the 2006 presidential elections in Venezuela, El Valle was overflowing with Venezuelans who backed Mr. Chavez. Residents spoke with a sense of hope, of their new "missions": literacy programs, health clinics, and low-priced food. Chavez won that election in a landslide.

Today, his support is still strong here, as well as in many places throughout the country, especially marginalized areas. But many of the benefits from the social missions are being overshadowed by the larger problems afflicting Venezuelan society now, such as crime and inflation. And Chavez's support ahead of crucial legislative elections in September is waning.

"Chavez still has an important level of popularity," says Jose Vicente Carrasquero, a political analyst at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. But there are significant numbers of people who "feel Chavez does not have the capacity to resolve the problems in the country. The fervor for him has diminished. It has been 11 years, and people still have the same problems."

Overreliance on oil revenues

In creating his brand of "21st-century socialism," which is redistributing wealth to the poor from the "oligarchy," as Chavez dubs the elite, the president has relied on oil revenues, and he has reduced poverty and illiteracy.

But as oil prices dropped and the world sank into financial crisis, Chavez's problems mounted. In local elections in 2008, his party lost many top posts throughout the country. Perhaps most stunning was his party's mayoral candidate's loss to the opposition in a Caracas municipality that includes the Petare slum, a traditional Chavez stronghold. Residents cited crime and inflation as their No. 1 concerns.

The economy shrank by 3.3 percent last year, and this year it is forecast to do the same. That makes it the only economy in Latin America expected to contract. Inflation hovers at around 30 percent. And Chavez has contended with a drought-induced electricity crisis, which for six months meant forced blackouts throughout the country.

Chavez responded to the economic woes by devaluing the currency this year. He has carried out a series of expropriations, too, the most recent a supermarket chain, after a string of nationalizations, including everything from the steel to telecommunication industries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hugo Chavez Sees Support Fade, Even in Venezuela Strongholds
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.