The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez, fiery Venezuelan leader, dies at 58

(Continued)

Despite the souring relationship, Chavez kept selling the bulk of Venezuela's oil to the United States.

By 2005, Chavez was espousing a new, vaguely defined "21st-century socialism." Yet the agenda didn't involve a sudden overhaul to the country's economic order, and some businesspeople continued to prosper. Those with lucrative ties to the government came to be known as the "Bolivarian bourgeoisie."

After easily winning re-election in 2006, Chavez began calling for a "multi-polar world" free of U.S. domination, part of an expanded international agenda. He boosted oil shipments to China, set up joint factories with Iran to produce tractors and cars, and sealed arms deals with Russia for assault rifles, helicopters and fighter jets. He focused on building alliances throughout Latin America and injected new energy into the region's left. Allies were elected in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and other countries.

Chavez also cemented relationships with island countries in the Caribbean by selling them oil on preferential terms while severing ties with Israel, supporting the Palestinian cause and backing Iran's right to a nuclear energy program.

All the while, Chavez emphasized that it was necessary to prepare for any potential conflict with the "empire," his term for the United States.

He told the AP in 2007 that he loved the movie "Gladiator."

"It's confronting the empire, and confronting evil. ... And you end up relating to that gladiator," Chavez said as he drove across Venezuela's southern plains.

He said he felt a deep connection to those plains where he grew up, and that when died he hoped to be buried in the savanna.

"A man from the plains, from these great open spaces ... tends to be a nomad, tends not to see barriers. You don't see barriers from childhood on. What you see is the horizon," Chavez said.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee