Hugo Chavez Is Not Going Away Soon

By Nelson, Brian A. | The Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Hugo Chavez Is Not Going Away Soon


Nelson, Brian A., The Christian Science Monitor


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's recent proclamations that President Bush is the devil and that he could still smell the sulfur from Mr. Bush's visit to the UN the day before have largely been covered by the media as laughable and absurd.

But if you found yourself guffawing or rolling your eyes - perhaps the way that many rolled their eyes at Bush's "axis of evil" speech - you'd be missing the underlying strategy of Latin America's most powerful and problematic leader. What's more, you're probably not who Mr. Chavez is talking to, anyway.

Beyond the glittering generalities and name calling is an expertly crafted appeal to Latin America's masses. For many Latin Americans, to see Hugo Chavez step up to the podium of the United Nations and berate the leader of the United States in front of, quite literally, the whole world was more gratifying than winning the World Cup during Mardi Gras.

Chavez's use of religious symbolism is, of course, no accident. In Venezuela, Chavez refers to the four private media stations that oppose him as "the four horsemen of the apocalypse." He says the Catholic leaders who speak out against him are possessed and need to be exorcised, and it is no coincidence that the president's weekly talk show is held on Sunday morning.

This religious rhetoric has made Chavez extremely attractive to Latin America's devout Roman Catholic population, and many of them see Chavez - as he admittedly sees himself - as a Messianic figure come to raise Latin America out of its long history of subordination to the developed world. In fact, some evangelical pastors openly preach that Chavez has been sent by God.

While you can blast Chavez for overseeing a regime that has destroyed labor unions, stifles free speech, and is rotten with corruption, it cannot be denied that the Venezuelan president is a brilliant orator and populist. Rhetoric is Chavez's forte: He has the ability to tap into people's emotions and belief systems. He makes people feel that they can become part of something bigger - that they are playing a role in history by joining his cause.

The other crucial ingredient in Chavez's successful appeal to Latin Americans is his militant nationalism, embodied by his employment of Simon Bolivar as a political symbol. Chavez had Venezuela renamed "The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" and reportedly likes to set a place for Bolivar at the dinner table. …

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

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 Is Not Going Away Soon
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.