Venezuelan and foreign capital size up former coup leader
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2001
By Bill Vann
17 December 1998
The presidential election victory in Venezuela of Hugo Chavez, a former Lieutenant Colonel who led an abortive coup nearly seven years ago, has provoked relatively little consternation from foreign multinationals and the country's ruling class.
Chavez, who campaigned as the champion of the poor and the scourge of the "oligarchy," settled in rapidly to the role of a responsible statesman, determined to uphold the integrity of Venezuela's constitutional order and the soundness of capitalist investment.
The victory of the ex-paratrooper, who attempted to seize the Miraflores presidential palace in February 1992, was met with noisy celebrations in the shantytowns surrounding the capital of Caracas. For Venezuela's impoverished masses the election at least held the satisfaction of seeing the two parties that have safeguarded the interests of the rich for the past 40 years wiped off the political map. Many took to the streets with one simple slogan: "We are hungry." MORE