Homework #4

From week four’s homework, I found the video of political science professor, Maxwell Cameron, quite informative. He focuses on the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, making connections with Venezuelan political and military leader of the late18th-early 19th century, Simón Bolivar. Cameron begins the interview by saying that “The tensions between continuity and change is one of the major themes in Latin America.” I really think that there is something to be said about his statement. When I think about present day Mexico, I cannot help but think about what Cameron says. I know that is a whole other subject, so I will veer away from going on a tangent.

Back to Chávez and Bolivar. Chávez seems to be an advocate of change versus continuity throughout his presidency. Being the one to plant Venezuela’s existing congress and rewrite its constitution, I support this notion. Though there are things that make me want to disagree. Although he did rewrite the constitution, it was mentioned that he did not change much and that it was actually very similar to the original. Chávez was afraid to be a leader because he did not want to be anything like the recent leaders, whom made no positive change for the people. In this sense, Chávez seemed to have been in the right mindset. It was also mentioned that once in power, he had a “remarkable ability” to talk to the Venezuelan people, allowing his people, some whom felt left out of politics, to feel as if they were being spoken to individually and included, rather than having to be a politician to understand. All of these things put Chávez on top, as he gathered more and more followers.

Chávez seems to have a goal in mind: to finish what he believes Simón Bolivar had started. Chávez looks back and believes that Bolivar began the start of an incomplete revolution and feels that he needs to finish what had begun. He may have the right idea in mind, although he seems to have the wrong understanding of who Bolivar actually was. Bolivar stood as the liberator of the creole group, rather than a representative of the Native American.

1 thought on “Homework #4

  1. Emily Townsend

    Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar’s narratives both address the region’s current state and need for independence. However, Chavez’s is a speech to the world’s leaders and the people, whereas Bolivar’s is a letter to a specific individual. Although, as you mentioned, Bolivar stood as a liberator for the creole group, I would’ve found it interesting to have a narrative of him addressing the people. Do you think his language would’ve been as charismatic as Chavez’s? Is Chavez’s charisma deceiving?


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