Hugo Chávez was rather a controversial figure in the history of Venezuela. He was a well-known politician and president of Venezuela. Not many people know that he managed to do a lot for his country that he was deeply devoted to.
Today, we want to share with you 8 facts that will shed light on his life, beliefs and deeds. Here are these facts…
Hugo Chávez: 8 interesting facts about the president of Venezuela
1. Hugo Chávez was a very talented person
Hugo’s mother wanted him to become a priest. However, he liked playing baseball. When studying at the university, he was a member of the Criollitos de Venezuela baseball team. Baseball wasn’t only a hobby, but one of his lifelong passions. In 1969, Chávez won the championship and became the country’s champion in baseball.
Literature was his second-biggest passion in life. Hugo enjoyed reading poems, books on philosophy, history and religion. He wrote many poems, short stories and plays. He was also interested in art.
Hugo Chávez, known under the nickname “El Comandante”, was also a fan of music. He recorded the most popular Venezuelan and Mexican songs. The CD was released in 2007. One year later, he recorded a song that was released in the album called “Musica Para la Batalla”.
2. Hugo Chávez was a fan of Twitter
Hugo Chávez had a Twitter account. An interesting fact about Hugo Chávez is that he actively used the social net and tried to attract as much attention to his blog as possible. His account had more than 4 million followers. Natalia Valdivieso became his 3 millionth follower. To celebrate this event, Chávez gave her a home as a present.
3. Hugo Chávez was the host of the popular TV show “Aló Presidente”
The talk went on air for the first time in 1999. Hugo talked with the citizens of Venezuela, answered their questions and asked questions to the ministers of the country. The main idea behind the show was to openly discuss the issues in the country. Hugo wanted every citizen of Venezuela to clearly see what was going on around him/her.
To some people, his talk show seemed bizarre. Why? Because he was never afraid of openly criticizing local authorities and businessmen “online”.
4. Hugo Chávez found time to talk face-to-face with the citizens of Venezuela
In 2007, Hugo changed his schedule so that he could devote one hour and a half (every day) to personal meetings with Venezuelans, a fun fact about Hugo Chávez. However, he believed that this wasn’t enough. Therefore, he decided to organize a special online conference. During the conference, he talked with people from all over the country for 8 hours and 6 minutes (without any breaks).
5. Hugo Chávez wanted to change the name of the country
In 2008, Chávez offered to change the name of the country from “Latin America” to “Indian America”. He believed the term “Latin America” to have been inadequate. Why? Because it was the consequence of the “Europeanisation”. Indians were the first to have inhibited the continent. Therefore, the change of the country’s name (in Chávez opinion) would be more accurate from the historical point of view.
6. Chávez chewed coca leaves
Chávez had never drunk alcohol. However, he wasn’t shy to openly state that he chewed coca leaves every day. He said that, after chewing the leaves, he became more energetic. For him, coca leaves and cocaine were two absolutely different things. He also added that the habit had a positive effect on his appearance in general.
7. Hugo Chávez brought many changes to Venezuela
Hugo Chávez was elected to presidency in 1998. He served as the president of Venezuela for 15 years. In the course of his presidency, he brought many changes to the country.
An interesting fact about Hugo Chávez is that he changed the official name of Venezuela. Now, it’s officially called “Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”. He changed the national flag of the country. Previously, there were 7 stars on it. Now, there are 8 stars. The additional star symbolizes the fight for the independence of Guyana.
In 2007, Hugo made a decision to change the time zone of the country. The Venezuelan Standard Time now is 4 hours behind the Greenwich Mean Time. Hugo believed that additional half an hour would have a positive effect on health and metabolism of the citizens.
Hugo Chávez considered exams to be an outdated method of knowledge assessment. Therefore, he abolished admission exams in all the universities of the country.
8. Hugo Chávez’ main priority was the wellbeing of the country and its citizens
Hugo was the second politician with socialistic principles who was elected to the presidency on the basis of official voting. He wasn’t afraid of implementing radical reforms for the sake of the citizens’ wellbeing. The aim of his reforms was to improve the quality of life of those living in poverty.
In 2002, Hugo Chávez was dismissed from his role as the president of the country and imprisoned. However, the takeover attempt wasn’t successful. No one could imagine what happened soon after the president was imprisoned. Chávez had many supporters among the locals. Hundreds of thousands of those who supported his ideas and beliefs came out on streets demanding to free him. As a result, Hugo Chávez was restored in his position as the leader of the country.
Chávez nationalized the biggest companies in the country. He thought that these companies should bring benefits to people and their quality of life. The revenues received from oil industry, for example, should be spent on the development and improvement in education and health.
The measures taken by Chávez allowed people of low income to get access to medical services and provide education to their kids.
Hugo Chávez died in 2013 after a long and tiresome fight with cancer. He was a truly great leader who brought many positive changes to the life of his country. His death marked the end of a certain era.
We hope that the facts provided helped you to learn more about the life and deeds of Hugo Chávez. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!