By Peter M. Tase
On March 5, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias, 58, passed away due to a persistent cancer that was diagnosed in mid-2011 and continued to affect him. Chavez was president for since 1999; the end of his 14-year reign brought new perspectives to a Latin American nation with 27 percent of its population under the poverty line.
Chavez will enter in the history of the hemisphere, not only as one of the longest serving presidents but also as the architect of what he called Bolivarian socialism, which used his nation’s oil dollars to bolster his belligerent attitude and confrontational actions and statements against the United States and other industrialized economies.
President Chavez led the efforts to bolster the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). The first two of these was established in 2004 and the third in 2010. He even managed to have his country become a full member of MERCOSUR in late July 2012, the world’s.. (Read the article at SPERO NEWS)