Andres Bayona

Murals of Chavez

Chávez as a Modern Day Bolívar

By Andrés Bayona

This year Venezuela celebrated 201 years since its declaration of independence on 5 July 1811. Hugo Chávez took this opportunity to talk about the nation’s independence hero: Simón Bolívar. Bolívar liberated Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama of Spanish rule and is considered a revered figure in these countries, especially in Venezuela. Chávez often claims that he is fulfilling Bolívar’s dreams and living by his ideology, thus he calls his movement “la Revolucion Bolívariana” (or the Bolívarian Revolution) in honour of the South American independence hero. But how much of Chávez’ policies and rhetoric actually fit with Bolívar’s vision for the continent?