Venezuela CHC Course July 2008

Jul 08, 2008Jul 09, 2008


Dr. Francisco Rodríguez

Professor of Economics and Latin American Studies Wesleyan University



Economic changes have swept through our Central and South American neighbors in recent years, particularly in Venezuela . Since Hugo Chávez won the 1998 presidential elections he has instituted the Bolivarian Revolution, a series of economic and social reforms, and a foreign policy program designed to strengthen Venezuela ’s influence abroad even though his rhetoric and choice of affiliation have led to a tenuous relationship with the United States . Almost ten years into his rule, we have enough information to study the effects of his policies in terms of the welfare of ordinary Venezuelans and their impact on regional politics as a whole.

Dr. Francisco Rodríguez of Wesleyan University will join the MercatusCenter in a special one-day presentation on the Venezuelan economy and the impact of Hugo Chávez. He will explore the Chávez administration’s record in terms of general economic growth as well as in human development outcomes in areas such as schooling, literacy, and health.  He will also analyze the effects of the Bolivarian Revolution on the politics of neighboring Latin American countries and discuss whether the “Shift to the Left” that has occurred in a number of Latin American nations can be expected to continue.  He will close with a discussion of Chávez’s political alternatives after his defeat in last year’s referendum and the economic and political consequences of possible increased confrontation with the United States .

Join us as we examine this issue and address questions such as:

  • How has the economic landscape of Venezuela changed in recent years and how has this affected the political structure of the region?
  • Has the Bolivarian Revolution been successful and what has it accomplished?
  • How have the United States ’ economic ties to the region been affected in light of these changes and what future challenges can be foreseen?