The Legacy of Hugo Chavez
by Daniel Hellinger and Anthony Petros Spanakos
Following his death in March 2013, Hugo Chávez left a significant legacy, but one that is highly contested. It could hardly be any other way given the level of polarization in Venezuela and scholarship about Venezuela. Too often discussion of Chávez paints him and the political movement he led with little subtlety in Manichean or hagiographic terms. The purpose of this special issue is contribute to a better understanding of the possibilities and limits of the Bolivarian project, ranging from democratic innovations to economic experimentation, from alternative economic integration to the role of charisma in revolutionary politics. Contributions include analysis of what it means to be a citizen in a post-neoliberal democracy in Venezuela; the extent to which Chavismo achieved a real redistribution of socio-economic and political power in Venezuela; lessons for other countries dependent upon extraction; what sort of domestic political and economic institutional structures have been developed under Chávez’s government, and how these affect the question of succession and future governability; the sustainability of the Bolivarian project since the decline in oil prices; and the relationship of Venezuela with the United States and other Latin American countries.
Tomas Ocampo, Outreach Coordinator for Latin American Perspectives, interviews issue editors Daniel Hellinger and Anthony Spanakos about LAP issue, "The Legacy of Hugo Chávez," published in January 2017.
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