By Rory Carroll
The interior tale of Hugo Chavez's rule and complicated legacy
Few leaders in our time were as divisive and enigmatic because the past due Hugo Chavez. In Comandante, acclaimed journalist Rory Carroll tells the interior tale of Chavez's existence, his time as Venezuela's president, and his legacy. in keeping with interviews with ministers, aides, courtiers, and voters, this intimate piece of reportage chronicles a distinct test in energy that veers between enlightenment, tyranny, comedy, and farce. Carroll additionally investigates the just about spiritual devotion of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who looked Chavez as a savior and the loathing of these who branded him as a dictator. In attractive prose that blends the lyricism and strangeness of magical realism with the brutal, gruesome fact of authoritarianism, Comandante bargains a cautionary story for our instances.
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Additional resources for Comandante: Myth and Reality in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela
Either males have been visitors of Fidel Castro. Cuba’s outdated fox had taken shut curiosity within the Venezuelan, and now it was once the flip of the Nobel laureate. It used to be January 1999, and Chávez was once returning to his native land to be sworn in as president. He had gained an election a number of weeks past and was once now set, at forty-four, to turn into the republic’s youngest chief. A Colombian journal had commissioned García Márquez to jot down a profile. prior to discovering repute as a novelist, Gabo, as acquaintances referred to as him, were a newspaper reporter and nonetheless had a newsman’s intuition to interview and probe. “We had met 3 days prior in Havana,” he for this reason wrote. “The very first thing that inspired me was once his physique of strengthened concrete. He had a right away friendliness and a homegrown allure that have been unmistakably Venezuelan. We either attempted to fulfill up back, however it used to be impossible for both people, so we made up our minds to fly jointly to Caracas so lets chat approximately his lifestyles and different miracles. ” Chávez had but to take workplace, and already his upward push appeared amazing. Venezuela had as soon as been thought of South America’s so much profitable and consequently dull kingdom, a realm of oil wealth and wonder queens that sat out the region’s cold-war–era dictatorships and revolutions in a haze of petrodollar complacency and cold elections. that modified one explosive evening in February 1992 whilst an unknown lieutenant colonel named Hugo Chávez tried a coup and despatched tanks and infantrymen with camouflage-painted faces to attack the presidential palace, Miraflores. President Carlos Andrés Pérez escaped, the coup failed, and Chávez went to reformatory, yet six years later he stormed again as an election candidate, swept apart opponents, and the following he was once, president-to-be, flying underneath the celebrities to an unwritten destiny. Who used to be this guy? García Márquez had certain cause to simply accept this project. In novels resembling the fall of the Patriarch and the final in His Labyrinth, he had explored the psychologies of Caribbean leaders. Many dictators had thrived on those humid coasts over centuries and woven themselves into the tradition as mythic personages. The grasp of magical realism studied and didn't unavoidably condemn them. Fidel, in truth, was once a private pal. Having simply received a fresh, landslide election, Chávez used to be no dictator yet got here with a whiff of cordite. Supporters known as him comandante. García Márquez’s pen skimmed around the notepad as his interviewee comparable his formative years and political upward push. the item saw: “The February coup seems the one factor that didn't prove good for Hugo Chávez Frías. He perspectives it absolutely, even if, as a providential opposite. it truly is his means of knowing stable success, or intelligence, or instinct, or astuteness, or no matter what you may name the magic contact that has favourite him on account that he entered the realm in Sabaneta, within the country of Barinas, on July 28, 1954, born less than Leo, the signal of energy. Chávez, a fervent Catholic, attributes his charmed lifestyles to the hundred-year-old scapular that he has worn considering that formative years, inherited from a maternal great-grandfather, Colonel Pedro Pérez Delgado, one among his tutelary heroes.