||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (March 2014)|
Chavismo (the most literal translation being "Chavism") is the name given to the left-wing political ideology based on the ideas, programs and government style associated with the former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. It combines elements of socialism, populism, patriotism, internationalism, anti-imperialism, bolivarianism, feminism, green politics, and Caribbean and Latin American integration.
Chavista is a term to describe strong supporters of Chavez, which is closely associated with support for Chavismo.
Several political parties in Venezuela support chavismo. The main party, founded and led by Chávez, is the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Spanish: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, usually referred to by the four letters, PSUV). Other parties and movements supporting chavismo include Homeland for All (Spanish: Patria Para Todos or PPT), and Tupamaros.
Broadly, chavismo policies include nationalization, social welfare programs, and opposition to neoliberalism (particularly the policies of the IMF and the World Bank). According to Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan socialism accepts private property, but this socialism seeks to promote social property too. Chavismo also support participatory democracy and workplace democracy. In January 2007, Chávez proposed to build the communal state, whose main idea is to build self-government institutions like communal councils, communes, and communal cities.
In The Weekly Standard, Thor Halvorssen Mendoza described the core of Chavismo as a "far-reaching foreign policy that aims to establish a loosely aligned federation of revolutionary republics as a resistance bloc in the Americas".
Noam Chomsky has expressed a certain degree of support for Chavez and his policies, saying that he is "quite interested" by his policies and that he regards "many of them" as "quite constructive". He notes that most importantly, Chavez seems to enjoy overwhelming support from his people after "six closely supervised elections".
According to an article in the New York Sun, Chavezism was rejected in recent elections in Peru, Colombia, and Mexico, and El Universal reports that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva distanced himself from Chavezism, saying that Brazil is not Venezuela, and has traditional institutions. However, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva supported Hugo Chávez in the Venezuelan presidential election of 2012 and Lula also supported Nicolás Maduro in Venezuelan presidential election of 2013.
The Nation noted on its editorial pages that:
"Chavismo is not an adequate description of the social movement that makes up Chávez's political base, since many organizations predate his rise to political power, and their leaders and cadre have a sophisticated understanding of their relationship with Chávez. Over the last couple of years, a number of social scientists have done field work in urban barrios, and their findings confirm that this synergy between the central government and participatory local organizations has expanded, not restricted, debate and that democracy is thriving in Venezuela.
Chavismo has ripped open the straitjacket of post-cold war Latin American discourse, particularly the taboo against government regulation of the economy and economic redistribution. Public policy, including economic policy, is now open to discussion and, importantly, popular influence. This is in sharp contrast to Costa Rica, where a few months ago its Supreme Court, with the support of its executive branch, prohibited public universities from not just opposing but even debating the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which soon won a national referendum by a razor-thin margin."
- Morsbach, Greg. Chavez opponents face tough times. BBC News (6 December 2005).
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- Chavismo and Democracy, By Greg Grandin, December 6, 2007
- Ramirez, C.V. (2005), "Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution: Who are the Chavistas?", Latin American Perspectives, 32(3), pp79-97