Hugo Chavez legacy lives on in Venezuela despite woes
Updated: 2015-03-06 11:16
A member of the Sandinista Youth places a wreath during an ceremony marking the second anniversary of the death of late Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, in Managua March 5, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
CARACAS-- Two years after the untimely death of Venezuela's reformist President Hugo Chavez, his vibrant voice and strong anti-imperialist views continue to resonate in a deeply divided society struggling with economic woes.
The memory of the late leader remains vivid in the minds of millions of his followers, particularly in the country's poorer regions, which Thursday marked the second anniversary of his death from cancer.
Paintings of Chavez and his message adorned buildings, schools and even commercial avenues throughout Venezuela, but his legacy is most evident among Venezuelans whose living standards he had worked to improve.
In 1999, Chavez embarked on a presidency that changed the course of the Venezuelan history by putting the people, instead of the political class, above all. ( His policies slashed poverty rates and raised the living standards with social, educational, health, housing, sports and cultural programs, all of which made him the most popular president that Venezuela has ever had in the past 200 years.
A former soldier, his charismatic personality, fierce political independence, ability to stand up to the United States' domination and tireless defense of the poor won him respect both at home and abroad.
His larger-than-life persona, backed by Venezuela's abundant oil earnings at the time, allowed him to spearhead radical reforms in a country long ruled by a business elite.