Comandante: Hugo Chávez's Venezuela

book jacket for ComandanteComandante: Hugo Chávez's Venezuela by Rory Carroll provides an intimate look at the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. Hugo Chávez died on March 5, 2013 from cancer.  While President, he was a charismatic leader who could engage an audience during political speeches, and was an outspoken critic of world affairs, particularly U.S. foreign policy.

In Venezuela, some looked to Chávez with hope and optimism, but others viewed his politics as authoritarian when dealing with political opponents. His political opponents have accused him of creating a "cult of personality" and  criticized his courting of President Fidel Castro of Cuba and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.  Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and "socialism of the 21st century," Chávez focused on implementing socialist reforms in Venezuela.  These social reforms helped reduce poverty, increase access to education, improve healthcare and implement a new constitution, and created participatory democratic councils.

If you are interested in Latin American politics, socialist politics in the 21st century, or charismatic political figures, Comandate details the life and political rise of the late Hugo Chávez.  Carroll's research is based on interviews with Chávez's ministers, aides, polical allies and friends, and provides an intimate look at a political figure who generated both national and international interest and controversy.