Born July 28, 1954. The current President of Venezuela. As the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez promotes a political doctrine of democratic socialism, Latin American integration, and anti-imperialism. He is also a critic of neoliberalism, globalization and United States foreign policy.
A career military officer, Chavez founded the left-wing Fifth Republic Movement after orchestrating a failed 1992 coup d'etat against former President Carlos Andres Perez. Chavez was elected President in 1998 with a campaign centering on promises of aiding Venezuela's poor majority, and was reelected in 2000 and in 2006. Domestically, Chavez has maintained nation wide Bolivarian Missions, whose goals are to combat disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty, and other social ills. Abroad, Chavez has acted against the Washington Consensus by supporting alternative models of economic development, and has advocated cooperation among the world's poor nations, especially those in Latin America.
Chavez's policies have evoked controversy in Venezuela and abroad, receiving anything from vehement criticism to enthusiastic support. Some people, especially in the government of the United States, view Chavez as a threat to democracy in Latin America. Others sympathize with his ideology or welcome his bilateral trade and reciprocal aid agreements. In 2005 and 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.