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Is there a “Bolivarian” alternative to free market integration?

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Washington Consensus or structural adjustment.
    2. Trade liberalization.
    3. Privatization.
    4. Financial reforms.
    5. labour reforms.
  2. Rejecting the United States economic hegemony through the Bolivarian Revolution led in Venezuela.
    1. Rejecting the free market integration.
    2. Success of the 'socialism del 21 siglo'.
  3. A Bolivarian Revolution that cannot achieve itself without free market.
    1. Toward a Latin American integration.
    2. Neoliberalism in the Bolivarian Venezuela and the importance of oil.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

Since 1998, voters have elected Hugo Chavez to the presidency three times with increasing margin each time and on August 15, 2004, voters returned to polls to decide whether to remove him from office or not. 59% of voters confirmed the President's mandate and defeated the recall initiative. First Hugo Chavez's victory in the 1998 presidential elections surprised political predictions and academics alike. In fact, the political scientist Luis Gomez asserted that, despite the widespread recognition of the existence of a political crisis, very few thought that the force capable of displacing Accion Democratica (AD) and COPEI, the traditionally dominant political parties, would be the Chavismo.
The increasingly decisive victories of the Chavez presidency raise many issues. No one doubts that President Chavez is determined to lead his country, Venezuela, toward socialism. Fidel Castro constantly repeated the name, ideals and teachings of Jose Marti. He attributed to his ?Revolution? the spirit of Marti and expressed the desire to finish Marti's planned integration of Latin America. As far as Hugo Chavez is concerned, he invokes the name of Simon Bolivar with the same reverence, respect and intention as Fidel Castro did with Marti. He professes that nowadays Venezuela is reigniting the Bolivarian Revolution, and says he has been passed the torch and the mission from Marti, Bolivar and Castro. Hugo Chavez, through his Bolivarian Revolution, has resigned himself to act in the sense of what those men called for: the unification of Latin America and the Caribbean as a counterbalance to the United States hegemony. Part of the historical and cultural significance of the Chavismo comes from its appropriation of the figure of Simon Bolivar.

[...] Chavez is expected to continue to influence his neighbours through this kind of petro- diplomacy and rhetorical assertions against the United States and free market integration. Chavez's charisma, anti-colonial/Bolivarian rhetoric and increasing levels of poverty form the basis of his support among the poor and dissatisfied middle-classes. Chavez's governing style and the problems he faces as he labours to turn around the country's stagnant economy. Populist initiatives aimed at wealth redistribution, land reform and a more Third-World-orientated foreign policy form the main features of the Bolivarian regime. [...]


[...] II/ A Bolivarian Revolution that cannot achieve itself without free market Toward a Latin American integration The last half of the 20th century witnessed numerous attempts to form a Common Market. Apart from NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes one Latin American member state (Mexico), only one Latin American free market has come been fulfilled: the MERCOSUR, the 'Market of the South'. Chavez's most urgent aim is the economic independence of Latin America which has traditionally relied heavily on trade with the United States. [...]


[...] In global terms, people see the Chavez regime as a response to the United States' imperial-style attempts to impose its domination: is there a Bolivarian alternative to free market integration? What did Chavez propose to those Venezuelans who see globalization and capitalism as responsible for the crisis? We'll focus on the Venezuela's foreign policy initiatives and its attempts to spread Chavez styles Bolivarianism throughout Latin America. First we'll see how Chavez implementing a Bolivarian Revolution in his country manages to reject the US-free trade dominant model. [...]

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