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Baseball’s Loss

Geoffrey Hawthorn: The Unstoppable Hugo Chávez, 1 November 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope 
by Tariq Ali.
Verso, 244 pp., £14.99, November 2006, 9781844671021
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Democracy and Revolution: Latin America and Socialism Today 
by D.L. Raby.
Pluto, 280 pp., £18.99, July 2006, 0 7453 2436 3
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Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s Revolution, Latin America Report No. 19 
by International Crisis Group.
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... In Venezuela at the end of June, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez and Diego Maradona, three heroes of the people in Latin America, kicked off the Copa América. Morales, pleased with his dribbling, kept possession for rather longer than might have been thought polite. When he passed, Chávez, instinctive politician that he is, at once flicked the ball on to the feet of the Hand of God ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bad Manners, 6 July 2000

... who, we understand, is to review Richard Gott’s new book, In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chávez and the Transformation of Venezuela (Verso, 246 pp., £16, 1 July, 1 85984 775 7) for the New Statesman. Again, it has not gone unnoticed at the LRB that ‘Robin Blackburn at Verso’ (together, by some coincidence, with Tariq Ali) tops ...

Resistance Is Surrender

Slavoj Žižek: What to Do about Capitalism, 15 November 2007

... government policy – will be possible also in Iraq!’ It is striking that the course on which Hugo Chávez has embarked since 2006 is the exact opposite of the one chosen by the postmodern Left: far from resisting state power, he grabbed it (first by an attempted coup, then democratically), ruthlessly using the Venezuelan state apparatuses to promote ...

Pfired!

Daniel Soar: Benjamin Kunkel, 5 January 2006

Indecision 
by Benjamin Kunkel.
Picador, 241 pp., £12.99, November 2005, 0 330 44456 5
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... a question. Here he is in an early conversation with a room-mate: Sanch said: ‘Yeah man fucking Hugo Chávez drinks sixteen espressos a day. And that’s after his staff weaned him down from twenty-four.’ ‘Amazing!’ I was really impressed with this man. ‘Who is Hugo Chávez?’ ‘He’s, like, a ...

Robinson’s Footprints

Richard Gott: Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan Revolution, 17 February 2000

... there would be a majority for the ‘yes’ campaign, which was led by the popular and charismatic Hugo Chávez, the former Army colonel who had been elected President a year earlier. The only question was the size of the turnout, which might be affected by bad weather. Venezuelans had already been called out to vote five times since November 1998, and ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Dictator’, 7 June 2012

The Dictator 
directed by Larry Charles.
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... ruler of the state of Wadiya, and effectively a version of Colonel Gaddafi with odd elements of Hugo Chávez thrown in, hopes he will be listed in history alongside the men he calls the great dictators: Gaddafi himself, Saddam, Kim Jong Il, Cheney. In fact the movie opens with a similar line, and had the audience in the cinema I was in laughing before ...

The Battle for Venezuela

Tony Wood, 21 February 2019

... made by most of the population between the mid-2000s and the time roughly when Maduro succeeded Hugo Chávez as president in April 2013. There has been a wave of emigration spanning the social spectrum: by November 2018, the UNHCR estimated that as many as three million had left the country, with 80 per cent of them now scattered across Latin America ...

Down from the Mountain

Greg Grandin: What Happened to Venezuela?, 28 June 2017

ChávezMy First Life 
by Hugo Chávez and Ignacio Ramonet, translated by Ann Wright.
Verso, 544 pp., £30, August 2016, 978 1 78478 383 9
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... trying to find a way out of the neoliberal straitjacket.But Venezuela was the first. In 1992 Hugo Chávez, a career army officer, had helped lead a military revolt. The revolt failed and landed him in jail even as it catapulted him to hero status. He was seen by many, especially among the growing number of impoverished Venezuelans, as an outsider ...

Short Cuts

Eyal Weizman: Arafat’s Tomb, 9 January 2014

... who died in debatable circumstances. Bolívar’s televised exhumation in 2010 was orchestrated by Hugo Chávez, who wanted to prove that Colombian oligarchs had poisoned the liberator of Latin America. In 2011 in Chile, Salvador Allende was exhumed at the request of state prosecutors to ascertain whether the two bullet holes in his skull were ...

Don’t do what Allende did

Greg Grandin: Allende, 19 July 2012

Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War 
by Tanya Harmer.
North Carolina, 375 pp., £38.95, October 2011, 978 0 8078 3495 4
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... pledging to overturn neoliberalism to promising to administer it more effectively. In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez drew a different lesson from the defeat of the Popular Unity government. Soon after he was elected president in 1998, before coming out as a confrontationalist, indeed before he even identified himself as a socialist, ...

¿Vamos Bien?

Eric Hershberg: Cuba and America, 28 May 2009

Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos 
by Louis Pérez.
North Carolina, 333 pp., £32.95, August 2008, 978 0 8078 3216 5
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Cuba in Revolution: A History since the 1950s 
by Antoni Kapcia.
Reaktion, 208 pp., £15.95, September 2008, 978 1 86189 402 1
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... claim that the revolution avoided personality cults, Havana is full of billboards showing Che, Hugo Chávez and, above all, El Comandante – my favourite has him dressed in full olive drab regalia, gazing out benevolently, saying ‘vamos bien.’ But is Cuba doing well? Kapcia is right to say that the ‘sheer fact of survival’ is a remarkable ...

Ready for a Rematch

Michael Byers: The Bushes and Saddam Hussein, 8 February 2001

... and require difficult negotiations with Opec leaders, including the increasingly unpredictable Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. As seen from the White House, a war against Iraq is a good energy policy, especially because it would be unlikely to provoke sustained objections from other countries. Neither Europe – where the British Government is expected to play ...

It’s the Oil

Jim Holt: Iraq’s Lucrative Mess, 18 October 2007

... opening the Iraqi oil spigot for as long as necessary (perhaps taking down Venezuela’s oil-cocky Hugo Chávez into the bargain). And think of the United States vis-à-vis China. As a consequence of our trade deficit, around a trillion dollars’ worth of US denominated debt (including $400 billion in US Treasury bonds) is held by China. This gives ...

Was it murder?

Deborah Friedell: Disaster Medicine, 2 July 2014

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital 
by Sheri Fink.
Atlantic, 558 pp., £14.99, February 2014, 978 1 78239 374 0
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... that the levees were sinking and done nothing; rescue operations were shambolic and inadequate. Hugo Chávez rubbed it in by offering to send Louisiana a planeload of Venezuelan aid workers. Fidel Castro offered to send doctors. On 1 September, Condoleezza Rice was spotted in Manhattan shoe-shopping at Ferragamo: a symbol of a government that didn’t ...

Plan Colombia

Malcolm Deas, 5 April 2001

... neighbours are sometimes apprehensive, they are not participants in its troubles. Even President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela (about whom Richard Gott has recently written in the LRB) has done no more than strike an occasional ‘Bolivarian’ populist attitude. Few countries in the last two centuries have been as little involved as Colombia in ...

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