Since 2010, Venezuela has been in crisis. Many choose to blame Chávez for this, but while I’m not ideologically aligned with Chávez, I know the truth. Many people say that Venezuela under Chávez relied too much on oil. While this in itself is true, they aren’t telling the full truth.
Hugo Chávez made mistakes, such as focusing too much on his Bolivarian revolution and was very short sighted. However, Venezuela’s reliance on oil has been a problem since the 1970’s. Neither President Carlos Andrés Pérez nor his successors did anything to solve this problem and diversify the economy. There was only corruption and an economic crisis that Venezuela faced throughout the 1980’s due to price fluctuation. In other words, Chávez cannot be blamed for Venezuela’s over reliance on oil.
Despite Chávez’s mistakes, he improved Venezuela as well. Before Chávez, the average Venezuelan lived in poverty, and literacy also rose a lot under Chávez. Venezuela’s prosperity peaked in 2006, and up until the 2008 Great Recession, Venezuela was doing good. Unfortunately, all of this prosperity was reliant on a good economy–just like in most of the world. But that doesn’t mean he did not improve Venezuela.
Its true that the Venezuelan government did not plan for this catastrophe and it would be best if they did, but it is important to note why nobody saw this crisis coming. The aforementioned prosperity contributed to the
Chávista government’s shortsightedness. Seeing how Venezuela was prospering until the crisis, it would be easy to think that the prosperity would continue for a long time.
To conclude, Chavez was not a bad leader.