32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2005
There is a wind of change in Latin America. Hugo Chavez is at the forefront of the political and social movements in Latin America. To some he's considered a tyrant, but the truth is that he does'nt peddle to the wishes of Washington as other Latin American leaders have done throughout the 19th and 20th century. The attempted coupe of 2002 and the referendum are proof that the citizens of Venezuela need the guidance of the Bolivarian Revolution and Hugo Chavez. This by far is the best book on Hugo Chavez I've read so far because it's him in his own words in an interview conducted by Aleida Guevara, daughter of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna(Che). Why is it when leaders choose the well being of their own citizens first by reforming past neoliberal policies that they are considered by the U.S. threats to democracy? The past opportunities that Latin America had in the 20th century to progress after centuries of Spanish colonialism were twarted by American intervention with the coupes against Arbenz in Guatemala and the murder of Salvador Allende in Chile. It almost happened again and you could see the complicity of the U.S. when it was the sole country of the Americas to recognize the new government after the coupe.
Change this time will not be stopped, up next Mexico...
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2005
If you wish to have a decent look at the opinions of a man who has become, increasingly, a thorn in the side of the U.S. government, this is an excellent book. The author basically presents the viewpoint of Hugo Chavez as gathered in interviews with little or no editorializing. As such, it provides a fair explanation for some of his actions, his distrust of the U.S. and other economic powers, and his visions for the future of Venezuela. Through this book you can get a sense for the ability Chavez has to relate to people, particularly poor people in his own country, and gain some understanding of the reasons for his popularity. I would highly recommend reading other books that present opposing viewpoints, however, since some of what's presented is obviously affected by Chavez's rose-colored glasses.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2006
While the U.S. has always been a Republic and a democracy on paper, it has never been either in practice. A major feature of the U.S. system is that its White citizens have been led to believe they live in a republic and a democracy while the nonwhite population is reminded in no uncertain terms, that they were never part of the original deal. The U.S. is actually run by a banking based oligarchy, which rules a population kept perpetually divided along racial, and or ideological lines. A divided population is easier to control, thus Americans are encouraged to remain divided, for this reason. Venezuela like most of the former 'slaveowning' nations of the Americas, has long been run by an oligarchy like that of the U.S. Since the systems are the same, the same racial and ideological divisions used to govern the U.S., have been used to govern Venezuela. In time the oligarchy based in the U.S. has come to dominate the entire hemisphere.
Enter Hugo Chavez: an man of non-white ancestry, who dares to challenge the centuries old system of oligarchical rule. Not only has he energized those traditionally at the bottom of the socio-economic and racial pecking order, he is uniting all Venezuelans in ways which transcend the old racial and ideological divisions. This is a great development for people interested in freeing themselves from the iron grip of the banker oligarchy. For those who serve them however, this is a dangerous development, hence the vitriolic diatribes against him in the U.S. and Venezuelan mainstream media. In this book Chavez speaks in his own words, and gives ample coverage of his mission to elevate those who've been oppressed and exploited by the oligarchy, into the full benefits of citizenship and self determination. The unsuccessful coup attempt against Chavez has good and bad aspects. A good aspect because the forces of oligarchial slavery were defeated. A bad aspect because the oligarchy is sure to resort to more diabolical measures in an attempt to crush the blossoming of real democracy Chavez has wrought.
19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2006
I was encouraged to buy this book by the hysterical shrieking of the negative reviews. The Castro-bashing is always amusing in the context of the United States' history of butchering the people of Latin America. Say what you want about Castro or Chavez, their administations are challenging neoliberal policies that have caused untold suffering throughout the world and are currently bringing corporatist class war machinations to the USA.
While these interviews with Chavez reveal what an interesting and articulate person he is, it's healthy to realize that Hugo is not a "hero" (as another reviewer asserted). The world doesn't need heroes, it needs the development of grassroots organizations and engaged people to figure out things for themselves. Fortunately, there are civic organizations like "Global Exchange" that take people to Venezuela to see some of the vision Chavez speaks of being put into action. Many people throughout Venezuela and beyond are thankful for that country's progressive efforts (including providing cheap oil to impoverished communities in the US), and resented the US-backed coup attempt. Venezuela's plutocracy was hoping to regain power, but an incredible show of popular support kept Chavez in office. There's actually a documentary that captured that event on film called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." I don't believe it's on DVD yet, but you can learn more at [...]
It's hard to say where Venezuela's social change efforts will lead. A great deal of the future success or failure depends on what actions are taken by the warlords of Imperial America, who no doubt already have Special Ops forces, CIA agents, and "Economic Hit Men" skulking all around Caracas. Venezuela's future also will be affected by the citizens of the US and other nations, and whether or not they choose to act in solidarity. This book and groups like Global Exchange will provide concerned people with the sort of insight and opportunities they need to contribute to democratic change in Venezuela and the United States.
"There is at the head of this great continent a very powerful country, very rich, very war-like, and capable of anything. The United States seems destined to plague and torment the continent in the name of freedom."
-Simon Bolivar (1783-1830)
on April 13, 2013
I got the book faster that I expected. I was in great condition I believe it was new since it had that new book smell. Anyways I was happy with my purchase.
20 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2005
Well, I've read this book and have enjoyed it very much. I am very impressed in the State's take over of the Oil industry which was previously "privatized," the revenue received by private ownership nowhere to be found in the Country of Venezuela. I think it is rather obvious where it has gone; into the United States benefit. This is a clear cut case of the abuse of privatization and subsequently, Chavez is using the revenues to clothe and educate the poor and the children . . . very much in admiration. I also found his close relationship with Fidel Castro and their views of socialism and growth a real credibility and respect towards both men. There is much to learn in socialistic ideals and liberalism within democracy. I think the combination represents moderate and more balanced politics. Rather, it is the extremes, in both the Right AND the Left, that creates the devastation's in political history.
Amazon has had this book on back order for quite some time. I wonder if the delay to get this book is because the FBI or the CIA monitors or questions anyone who buys this book. I'm just being paranoid you say? Maybe. But why not? They censor libraries on lists of persons who borrow books they deem questionable. We have lost our democracy and freedom to read books with privacy.
I would really like to read this book before the president of the United States either creates another coo to kill the writer of the book, Hugo Chavez, or has him assassinated. This man really is a hero, one of the few world leaders that has almost been killed, and continues to speak his mind for the benefit of the working people, for democracy. True democracy always puts the masses ahead of the large monopolistic corporations. How many other leaders have rejected corporate money in favor of the working people?
You see, Bush hates this guy. This is because Chavez runs OPEC with a lot of oil and he won't cow down to the U.S. and Bush's demands. I mean what country has the right (might makes right) to hold out to the mighty U.S.? So this book is a must to read.
"Soviet power has collapsed but that does not mean that neoliberal capitalism has to be the model followed by the peoples of the West... This world cannot be run by a universal police force that seeks to control everything." -President Hugo Chávez
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2007
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has become quite a well-known figure in America if not the world. Most of the attention is due to his leftist politics and revolutionary movement, the Bolivarian Revolution, not to mention his close friendship with Cuba's Fidel Castro. But what we rarely get, as is the case with most controversial figures, is the man's words. In the U.S. most people have only seen the video of Chavez calling Bush "the Devil" over and over again. Here we get Chavez's actual ideas and personal accounts of his life and formation as a revolutionary leader. "Chavez: Venezuela & The New Latin America" is crucial reading for those who want to read the man's own words and learn about his life and vision. The interview on which the book is based was conducted by Aleida Guevara, daughter of legendary revolutionary Che Guevara, she dwelves deep into Chavez's background and current state not just as a political figure but as a father as well. Chavez discusses in candid detail his family, his close relationship with his daughters and his growing up poor with a loving grandmother. Some of the most fascinating passages deal with Chavez's years in the Venezuelan army where he witnesses brutal repression by the government of farmers and students considered "subversive." In brilliant detail Chavez describes the Bolivarian project and it's achievements in education, he also talks about the continuing fight against the oligarchy in his country and there riveting accounts of the infamous 2002 U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela which provoked a public outcry that brought Chavez back to power. The continuing relationship between Venezuela and Cuba is discussed with some interesting moments where Chavez reveals even health advice that Fidel Castro gives him. "Chavez" is worth reading to get the point of view from the man himelf, it flows smoothly humor, charm and always a driving need to inform.
15 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2005
Entertaining book but mostly wishful thinking and propaganda. I have lived and worked in Venezuela for the past 4 years and know exactly what is going on there. Hugo Chavez is NOTHING close to a hero. He gives the poor a crumb, but because they have never been given a crumb to eat before, SOME (and only very few) believe he is good for the country. He is a socialist dictator, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Christ, he's best buddies with Fidel who is a dictator. In the future, don't write a review if you don't know first hand (for more than a vacation) what is going on there.
7 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2005
If Chavez practiced what he preached this book could be as you describe it reviewer's...it's so easy to say something when you don't suffer the consequences of living in Chavezuela...he has TOTAL CONTROL OF ALL THE INSTITUTIONS>>>NO ONE CONTROLS HIS INJUSTICES>>>IF YOU ARE NOT A CHAVISTA OR IN ONE OF HIS WONDERFUL MISSIONS THAT ALIENATES ALL THE REAL WORKERS AND STUDENTS>>>YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF LIVING IN CHAVEZUELA>>> is this what you cal lthe best balanced politic system??? Even Bush is who is...that doesn't mean that all those who oppose him are good ones...Please save you opinions to your internal matters, unless you really what to support a megalomaniac like Chavez...
9 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2005
If you believe anything Chavez says you might as well take a look at how the country is doing. Venzuela is one of the richest countries in the world and makes tons of money from oil exports, yet, about 90% of the country is in poverty. Several millions (of only 23) are unemployed. Over 150 people die every weekend due to unorganized crime and roberies and the senate is debating a law which states that if you steal because you need the goods to feed your family, it is legal. These are only a few of the facts that you surely don't see in Chavez's book.
I suggest that if you really think Chavez is doing well because you believed every lie he says in this book, you do some research on the situation of people in Venezuela. It is nice to say he brought 50 or 100 Cuban doctors and went into 5 slums to teach kids, but where do the billions of dollars of oil exports go, because they surely do not go to the people.
I suggest some background research before reading this book and if you want to read a true story, don't even buy it.