As Venezuelans vote President Hugo Chavez for another term, we ask what he can accomplish at home and beyond
“In foreign relations, the president has followed the same kind of policy [as his domestic policy], dividing, polarising, always going against whoever is not following his policies and that is something that will continue obviously. I don’t think [there will be] any change in that even though he is truly dependent on the US market especially for the oil.
– Laura Rojas, a Capriles campaign member

“We have to recognise there is an enormous division between the United States and Canada on one side and the rest of Latin America [on the other] …. Domestically there is also an enormous divide, so constantly to blame Chavez for dividing the continent or for dividing the country is, I think, a way to paper over very profound differences that do exist. And Chavez is trying to resolve these differences precisely by building up the strength of Latin America.
– Gregory Wilpert, an author


  • Hugo Chavez: “This has been a perfect battle, a democratic battle”
  • Chavez has promised to respond with more efficiency to people’s needs
  • He has heavily invested oil revenues in anti-poverty programmes
  • Under Chavez’s rule, Venezuela’s poverty has dropped dramatically from 49 per cent in 1999 to 24 per cent in 2009
  • Crime has soared under Chavez, with murders tripling in the last 12 years
  • Widespread power outages in 2011 led to the rationing of electricity
  • Venezuela also faces a major housing shortage – at least 2 million housing units are needed for the poor living in slums
  • Chavez has been a vocal supporter of Cuba, Iran, Syria and Belarus
  • Russia and China have expanded investment in Venezuela
  • Chavez sends subsidised oil to allies around the world
  • Venezuela sends about $3 billion worth of oil to Cuba yearly, in exchange of which Cuba sends doctors to Venezuela
Read more from the source: Aljazeera