When Hugo Chavez passed away, the whole world was shocking. Nobody could believe his death. This grim news has two sides. The people who support Latin Socialism might be in a great sorrow. Hugo Chavez was a leader and commandante of Latin Socialism. His movement has attracted a lot of people. Without a leader who will guide them, the supporters are in quandary. In the other hand, the people who dedicated themselves as anti-Chavez will see his death as a great opportunity. An opportunity to get out of socialism’s cage which had contained their freedom of expression. With the leader passed away, there are many questions has arisen. Is this the end of Latin Socialism? What will happen after Chavez passed away? Who is the heir that will inherit Chavez’s legacy?
We may say that the death of Chavez will not end the Latin Socialism. Why? Because, this ideology is very popular and suitable with the condition of South American’s people. The idea of Latin Socialism spread in Latin America, when the gaps between the rich and poor was very high. Chavez implemented this ideology in 1998, when he was elected as a president. According to the American Democracy, an American government textbook, socialism is defined as an economic system in which government owns and controls many of the major industries. Unlike the communist in Eastern Europe, the socialism is not to eliminate the capitalism. Its main goal is to improve the citizen’s quality of life through the most effective means.
The most popular way in implementing this ideology is nationalizing major industries such as oil, railroads, steel, tin and cooper. Many countries such as Venezuela and Argentina implemented this method. Venezuela succesfully nationalized foreign oil companies in the Orinoco River. Meanwhile, the government of Argentina did the same way by nationalizing Spanish oil company, Repsol. These profits were used for rebuilding hospital for the poor in Venezuela and infrastructure in Bolivia. According to the World Issues, the other reason why Latin Socialism is very popular because it’s a salvation for improving the condition of the poor and promote growth in the economy after the failure of free market. Many Latin’s leader have managed this method succesfully, thus it gains respect from their people. No wonder this ideology hasn’t met its end.
Nobody will know what will happen when Chavez passed away. But something for sure is the Latin Socialism will not so easily dissapear from the region. Firstly, this ideology is very popular among the people in Latin America as the author’s said. Secondly, there are many Latin’s leader who were once great allied of Chavez used this ideology. Such as Raul Castro in Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Michele Bachelet from Chile, President Kirchner in Argentina and Rafael Correa from Ecuador. They are great leader, have an influence and popular among their people. In Venezuela itself, this ideology will still remain. Rumor has said that Vice President Nicolas Maduro will be the successor of Chavez. We may conclude that Latin Socialism hasn’t met its end. There are a lot of successors who will inherit Chavez’s legacy. But, one question still remain. Who is that successor? Only time can answer this question. The Latin America needs a new leader who can unite them. Without a visionary leader, the alliance of Socialist Latin America can be divided.
Chavez left Latin Socialism as his legacy. Unfortunately, he left another legacy that darker than his achievement. He pressed the opposite faction and forbid them to get involved in Venezuela’s domestic politic. He didn’t allow the press to express their freedom of speech. He only allowed the press who supported his cause and silenced all the critics against him. He made the centralization of power, so only the government could control all aspects of life. Although he made unfit decisions, he’s still praised among their people. He was keen and enthusiastic person. He made bold decision for pleasing the poor. He stood against the US where others could not. He may passed away, but his spirits remain. His efforts and charisma will be carved in every hearts who care to improve the people’s life.