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Chávez, Hugo (b. 1954)

Christoph Twickel


On December 17, 1982, under a historic Samán tree in Maracay where Simón Bolívar used to spend shady hours, that Hugo Chávez made his first revolutionary promise, swearing to three fellow officers “my arm will not rest nor will my soul find peace until the chains are disrupted that hold us prisoners.” After this pledge, inspired by Bolívar's “juramento de Monte Sacre” from 1805, the four young officers, all members of a parachutist regiment, founded the Ejercito Bolivariano Revolucionario 200 (EBR-200), a clandestine cell within the Venezuelan army. This step toward conspiratorial political work marked the beginning of a political career that led Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the son of poor teachers from the Venezuelan Llanos, to the presidency and made him the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution . Hugo Chávez was born on July 28, 1954 in a palm-leaf cabana in the small town of Sabanetas. His family moved to Barinas when Chávez was of high school age, and there he befriended the two sons of a historian and member of the communist party named Esteban Ruiz Guevara. It was in the library of the former political prisoner Ruiz Guevara where Chávez first read not only classic socialist literature – from Marx and Engels to Lenin – but also the writings of Simón Bolívar and Bolívar's teacher Simón Rodríguez. There he also learned about the life and times of Ezequiel Zamora , an anti-oligarchic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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