Past Event

Who was Hugo Chávez?

From “A Polarizing Figure Who Led a Movement” by Simon Romero

“Hugo Chávez, who died on Tuesday at 58, rose from poverty in a dirt-floor adobe house to unrivaled influence in Venezuela as its president, consolidating power and wielding the country’s oil reserves as a tool for his Socialist-inspired change. He was a dreamer with a common touch and enormous ambition. He maintained an almost visceral connection with the poor, tapping into their resentments, while strutting like the strongman in a caudillo novel. His followers called him Comandante.”

Questions for Consideration 

What was the legacy that Hugo Chávez has left behind? Why is he such a polarizing figure? How is Venezuela better or worse off after Chávez’ reign? What can we learn from his social-welfare programs that can serve as a model here? Why do some scholars conclude that Venezuela might be “the most democratic country in the Western Hemisphere”?

Want to learn more?


Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit