Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, leaving future of the South American country in question. He was a great leader and politician indeed. The late president had always been a talking point in national and international media for his tough stance on a number of national and international issues. During more than 14 years in office, Chavez routinely challenged status quo, both at home and internationally. Definitely, there was no dearth of his haters as well, both in Venezuela and other countries. The late president was labeled by some of his rivals a “big hurdle” in the way of real democracy in the oil-rich country.
Chavez was a good orator and used to electrify crowds with his powerful and convincing voice. He tapped into oil resources of the country and struggled to provide relief to the common man. The late president was a popular figure among poor of the country, as he established state-run food markets, introduced free health and education programs and housing facilities for the needy ones. However, Chavez got worldwide popularity by his antagonistic views against the United States. The late president never missed an opportunity to criticize the policies of the United States and the way the super power behaves with the rest of the world.
The late president was considered to be very close to Russia, Iran and all those countries that are deemed anti-America. He openly spoke in favor of Iran’s controversial nuclear program, and even to help the economy of Iran after the US sanctions, signed a major trade agreement with the Islamic Republic. Many in the international arena describe Chavez as an ambitious leader who believed in providing equal opportunities. After his departure, Vice President Nicolas Maduro is expected to follow the course.
Here is a brief look at Chavez’s life:
1954: Born July 28 in Sabaneta, Barinas state, the son of schoolteachers
1975: Graduated from Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences
1977: Becomes involved in revolutionary movements within the armed forces
1981: Returns to the military academy as a teacher
1992: Leads doomed attempt to overthrow government of President Carlos Andres Perez, jailed for two years
1994: Relaunches his party as the Movement of the Fifth Republic
1999: Takes office after winning 1998 election
2002: Abortive coup. Returns to power after two days
2011: Reveals he is being treated for cancer
2012 (October): Re-elected for another six-year term
2012 (December): Has fourth cancer operation in Cuba
2013 (February): Returns to Venezuela to continue treatment