Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government

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Overview

Since coming to power in 1998, the Chavez government has inspired both fierce internal debate and horror amongst Western governments accustomed to counting on an obeisant regime in the oil-rich state. In this rich and resourceful study, Greg Wilpert exposes the self-serving logic behind much middle-class opposition to Venezuela’s elected leader, and explains the real reason for their alarm. He argues that the Chavez government has instituted one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, but warns that they have yet to overcome the dangerous specters of the country’s past.
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Editorial Reviews

Noam Chomsky
“This fascinating study—deeply informed, penetrating in its analysis,
comprehensive in scope—explores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them in ways that, if successful, might have significant impact not only for
Latin America but well beyond.”
Susan George
“Greg Wilpert knows Venezuela intimately and gives us the most thorough and objective analysis of the Chavez government's policies we are likely to find. A thoughtful and useful book for the 21st century and, let us hope, beyond.”
Daniel Hellinger
“Gregory Wilpert's book combines academic insight with perspectives gained from living in Venezuela through the tumultuous years of the Chavez administration. His book offers the best general introduction to the complex politics of a country and a leader making a profound impact on global politics at the dawn of this new century.”
From the Publisher
“This fascinating study—deeply informed, penetrating in its analysis, comprehensive in scope—explores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them in ways that, if successful, might have significant impact not only for Latin America but well beyond.”—Noam Chomsky

“Gregory Wilpert’s book combines academic insight with perspectives gained from living in Venezuela through the tumultuous years of the Chavez administration. His book offers the best general introduction to the complex politics of a country and a leader making a profound impact on global politics at the dawn of this new century.”—Daniel Hellinger

“Greg Wilpert knows Venezuela intimately and gives us the most thorough and objective analysis of the Chavez government’s policies we are likely to find. A thoughtful and useful book for the 21st century and, let us hope, beyond.”—Susan George

“Wilpert presents a detailed, comprehensive and balanced account of the Bolivarian revolution.”—Science & Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844675524
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 10/9/2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,476,055
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Wilpert is a sociologist, freelance journalist, and a former US Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     1
The Dialectic of Counter-Revolution and Radicalization     9
Governance Policy     29
Economic Policy     69
Social Policy     105
Foreign Policy     151
Opportunities, Obstacles, and Prospects     183
Epilogue: 2007-Year of Transition to Twenty-first Century Socialism?     219
What is Twenty-first Century Socialism?     237
Notes     267
References     295
Index     303
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine survey of present-day Venezuela

    Gregory Wilpert, a freelance writer based in Venezuela's capital Caracas, has written a very useful study of the history and policies of the Chavez government in Venezuela. He examines its governance policy, economic policy, social policy and foreign policy. He looks at the opportunities, obstacles and prospects facing the Venezuelan people, and explores Chavez's ideas of 21st-century socialism.

    In 1998, the people elected Hugo Chavez President, with 56.2 per cent of the votes. In the 2004 recall referendum, he won 58 per cent of the votes and in the 2006 election, 62.9 per cent.

    Wilpert notes that the previous ruling class's counter-revolutionary acts against the Chavez government have each radicalised the government. He also notes that between 2001 and 2005, the US state sent $27 million to opposition groups.

    The government is promoting micro-credits, cooperatives, worker co-management, efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and skills training and logistical support to help people to start coops and social enterprises. Its social programmes have cut poverty from 44 percent to 38 per cent.

    Wilpert shows how the Chavez government is trying to move from representative democracy to a more participatory democracy.

    This is an excellent introduction to the history and policies of the Chavez government, joining Eva Golinger's The Chavez code, and Bart Jones' Hugo! The Hugo Chavez story: from mud hut to perpetual revolution.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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