Offset, circa 2011
Chávez promoted participatory democracy, the nationalization of several key industries, increased government funding of health care and education, and significant reductions in poverty. He introduced a system of worker-managed cooperatives, as well as a program of land reform. He was instrumental in creating the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), including Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. ALBA is the progressive alternative to the U.S. dominated Organization of American States (OAS). Chávez was lauded by many for his anti-imperialism and his efforts to aid the poor. For these same reasons, he was reviled by the rich and powerful.
For an informative article on Hugo Chavez and his role in Venezuelan history, see: