The Politics of Personality

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3 October 2016
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Since he came to prominence following a failed coup in 1992, Hugo Chávez (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) had been one of the most enduring and divisive figures on the world political stage. After he gained victory in the 1998 elections, Chávez promised to enact ‘revolutionary’ social policies, waging war on the political elite that faced a backlash from the frustrated population.

Anti-Imperialist Mural | © Erik Cleves Kristensen/WikiCommons
Hugo Chávez greets woman | © Fotos Gov/Ba

Though Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the Americas, huge inequalities of wealth drove populist support for Chávez who accused oil executives of living in ‘luxury chalets where they perform orgies, drinking whiskey.’

Despite an ultimately failed coup against him in 2002, Chávez remained a popular leader for his social reforms such as health services and education for the entire population. However, his critics accused him of becoming increasingly autocratic, a viewpoint that was given credit by his 2009 referendum that lifted term limits on elected officials.

Undoubtedly, Venezuelan politics were dominated by the personality of Chávez, who even had his own weekly live TV program. In 2011 he was diagnosed with cancer and started undergoing chemotherapy. In January the same year Chávez had predicted that he would win the December 2012 elections that would see him in power until 2018. Now that he is absent from the political scene, what is the future for Venezuelan politics? Will people continue to support the United Socialist Party and Bolivarian revolutionary politics without its charismatic leadership? In a wider political context, is charisma the most important factor in influencing political allegiance?

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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